Children at their desk from “The Dead Class”

“DESKS in  The Dead Class. D e s k s  always stand in a  c l a s s r o o m. But it was not a  c l a s s r o o m – a  r e a l  p l a c e. It was black emptiness, in front of which the  entire audience  s t o p p e d. To make it even more ridiculous and strange the barrier was just a piece of thin string. There must have been  a n o t h e r  barrier – much stronger and much more terrifying. In this black and hopeless emptiness the DESKS were a prominent example of BIOOBJECT. On those  d e s k s  bodies were sitting, leaning or standing; they provided the space for all human emotional states – for suffering, fear, love, for budding friendship, compulsion and freedom. The desks imposed order and discipline on the human organism (alive and natural, still exhibiting a tendency to “utilize” space in a disorderly way). They as if constituted a matrix, in which something new and unexpected came into existence, something which was struggling to reach beyond the  d e s k s  into the black and empty space but was withdrawing and returning to them (the desks) as if they were its home – its matrix!”


Kantor, Tadeusz. Wielopole, Wielopole. Kraków-Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1990, p. 138.

Children at their desk from "The Dead Class" 1989, owned by Cricoteka

Children at their desk from “The Dead Class” 1989, owned by Cricoteka

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